By Tom Mcloughlin, Founder, SEO Travel
Setting up a travel blog is one of the most effective forms of content marketing in the travel industry. A blog is a brilliant place to share insight and advice that will appeal to your customer base and target audience, it helps to improve the ranking of your website on search engine results pages, and it gives you regular content to share across other channels.
Whether you’re just getting started writing a travel blog or have been publishing content for a while, growing your blog audience is often a key focus. The more people who read and engage with the content on your travel blog, the wider the reach of your brand and the greater the number of potential customers who are exposed to your marketing material.
There are a wide variety of different methods of blog promotion for travel brands, and it’s a good idea to employ multiple techniques if you want to have the biggest impact. Below are nine of the best tactics for promoting your travel blog, with actionable steps for getting started with each approach.
Share on Social Media
There’s no questioning this method. The number one way to promote your travel blog is to share the content you post on social media.
Ideally, you want your customer base to regularly check your website, but it’s much more likely that they’ll frequently be checking their social media accounts. If you want instant attention and engagement whenever you post, make sure that your content is promoted on all of your social media channels with a taster of what the post is about to get as many readers as possible.
We don’t recommend that you copy and paste exactly the same promotion every time, as potential customers who follow you on multiple platforms will see this and are more likely to lose interest. If you tailor the promo to each audience; use a carousel of relevant photos on Instagram, keep the call to action short on Twitter and introduce the topic thoroughly on Facebook, you’ll ensure unique posts across your social media presence that receive maximum engagement.
Travel brands should also consider sharing their blog posts on Pinterest by including a promotional image that is optimised for this social media platform on each piece of content. Plenty of potential customers seek travel inspiration on Pinterest, and if your blog has content on this platform then you’ll be able to target them with your posts.
If you’re regularly posting content to your travel blog then your readers will need regular reminders to check out the latest pieces you have shared. An email newsletter is a fantastic method for doing this, allowing subscribers to engage with posts they are interested in and keeping your brand in potential customers’ minds.
The frequency you send out an email newsletter will depend on the size of your mailing list and the frequency you post on your blog. If you have thousands of subscribers and post at least once a day you may want to send multiple emails a week, whereas those with a smaller mailing list and less frequent schedule will be better off sending out email content once a week.
An email newsletter is a great way to build a personal connection with your mailing list and can include everything from travel tips to stories from members of the travel community. You should also promote the most recent pieces of content you have shared on the blog, as well as occasionally shining a spotlight on older pieces that feel relevant or you are trying to boost engagement with.
Make sure that there is a clear way of subscribing to your email newsletter on your website, and consider including a call to action at the bottom of each post you publish to encourage greater engagement.
If you’re wondering how to get visitors to your blog who are outside of your typical target audience, guest posting is one of the best ways forward. It’s a brilliant method for promoting your travel blog to a group of potential customers who may not otherwise have found your brand, leading to greater engagement and potentially more bookings.
Guest posting works by producing a piece of content that gets shared on another website or blog, usually in the same industry or with an audience who will find your content valuable. It may be done in exchange for sharing a piece of guest content on your own blog, or for another kind of promotion.
Partnerships are a great way to secure guest posting opportunities, or you can reach out to influential travel brands and bloggers with ideas for a guest post. Many blogs are always happy to have guest content if they receive some kind of promotion or benefit in return, and the endorsement to your business that will come with being introduced by another established site or blogger will be excellent for your brand image.
Search Engine Optimisation
A more technical approach to growing your blog audience is using search engine optimisation (SEO) to ensure that your blog content appears at the top of search engine results pages for relevant keyword phrases. This will increase the number of views that your posts get, and also mean that the ranking of your blog on search engines increases which leads to greater overall visibility.
You can optimise the existing content on your blog by doing keyword research around the topic of each post and coming up with a list of relevant keyword phrases that you can insert into the content to boost the ranking of every post.
Another option is to write blog posts based on topics that you come across through keyword research. These phrases should have clear intent and be relevant to your target audience, as this will lead the people searching for these phrases to your blog and then to your website, hopefully converting them to a customer.
A classic way of promoting your blog is networking, whether this is digital or through word of mouth. Use social media to connect with other travel brands, with blogs or travel bloggers, and use these relationships as a way to promote your brand and hopefully gain new followers.
You shouldn’t lead with the intention of promoting your blog when networking, as this will make you come across as disingenuous and may actually harm your reputation. Instead, use networking as a way to gain connections in your industry and build relationships that may lead to business opportunities down the line, slipping in promotion of your blog when it feels natural.
Leading on from that last point, another subtle method of blog promotion is engaging with the content of other travel blogs by leaving comments. These can be directly on the post or can be via social media if they share their blog content on there.
Leaving a comment under a blog post from your brand’s account instantly increases your viability, as more people will see your name and potentially remember you or seek out your content. An additional benefit of commenting on other travel blog content is that the people reading it will be much more likely to enjoy your content as well, so you’re already exposing your name to an interested audience.
Commenting on blog posts is also a great way to make connections with other travel brands and bloggers, which can be great for potential future collaborations or guest posts. Keep your comment short, friendly and positive, and try to include something relevant from the content so that they know you took the time to actually engage with it.
Join Online Communities
As we’ve mentioned previously, making connections in the travel community is a brilliant way of promoting your travel blog. As well as going out and seeking content produced by others, it can also be useful to join online communities where you can engage with the writers of travel blogs and seize opportunities to promote yours.
Joining forums where people ask travel questions is a great tactic, as you can use your blog posts as a way of answering these. The more helpful advice you share, the more people will start to recognise your brand name and trust you as a good source of travel advice and information.
Once again, the connections that you make by joining online communities or participating in discussions can also lead to productive partnerships that provide you with further opportunities to share your blog content.
If you want to support your organic efforts to promote your blog with a different approach, paid advertising can be a good option. You will need some budget to be successful, but it’s a great way of reaching new audiences and collecting data about the success of marketing campaigns to perfect your approach in the future.
Paid advertising could involve promotions on social media platforms, or you could pay for your blog to be a sponsored result at the top of a search engine results page. The results from this kind of promotion can be varied and may not be an option for all travel brands, but if you take the time to hone your approach it can be a brilliant way to get lots of visits to your blog and build out your customer base.
Finally, doing interviews with relevant travel publications or on other travel blogs is a great way to promote your content and gain positive publicity for your brand. This method is in the same vein as guest posting, but involves sharing stories or advice in an interview format instead of writing as a guest author.
Ideally, your blog will have such a positive reputation that you’ll be approached and asked to do interviews that will allow you to share your blog. Press releases and advertising campaigns can be a great way to get this kind of attention, particularly if your brand has done something a little ‘out there’.
You can also get this kind of publicity by offering to do interviews with other bloggers and brands as well, particularly if you offer to promote their website in exchange for the opportunity. This can be a great tactic if you’re doing a partnership with another company or influencer.
Interviews don’t need to be transcripts you publish on your blog; they could be on a podcast, a video or via social media platforms like Instagram. As long as you get your blog and brand name out there, you’ll reach a wider audience and grow your following.
The world of travel blogging is incredibly competitive, and promoting your blog so that it stands out from the rest can be tricky. As well as all of the above advice, it’s also important to ensure that the content you are sharing is genuinely unique and valuable to the audience it is aimed at, as all the promotion in the world won’t help to grow a blog that has nothing new or interesting to say.
If you’re looking for help with marketing your travel blog, brand or website, get in touch with SEO Travel for a chat and to find out more about the range of marketing services that we offer.